NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Authorities are issuing a warning about an unusual scam that could reach you through your phone.

If your phone rings and someone asks “Can you hear me now?” — hang up. Your answer to the simple question from an unknown caller could make you a victim of the scam.

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What the scammer is trying to do is record your voice saying “yes!” thus authorizing unwanted charges on a phone or utility bill.

“It’s a verbal contract, just like clicking ‘I agree’ on a computer,” said Howard Schwartz of the Better Business Bureau. “It’s called a voice signature and it’s used legitimately by companies to show that you’ve agreed to some sort of a change, usually an upgrade in some sort of a plan.”

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Tips to avoid this scam:

  • Don’t answer the phone from numbers you don’t know.
  • Don’t confirm your number over the phone.
  • Don’t give out personal information.
  • Don’t answer questions.

“If it’s an illegal marketing call and you press any button whatsoever, you’ve told them it’s a working number and you’re amenable to picking up the telephone when it rings,” Schwartz said.

Numbers can then be sold to many other scammers.

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One of the best ways to protect yourself is to get on the do not call list.